Your friend LP

It's been real! 2011 – 2016

Category: University

Ch ch changes

When I started this blog 5 years ago, it was the plan to keep it for the three years that my studies would take. As those who have followed my journey know, things have not quite panned out the way I expected them to.

The last 5 years have both been more awful and more awesome than I could have imagined: while my studies were more often than not a huge stressful disappointment and my health issues (culminating in my stroke) were awful, I did get to go to Berkeley, work on my sketchbook projects, do screenprinting, photography and creative writing classes, was admitted to a creative writing MA and for 3 of those years had the luck to have a cat as awesome as Clark living with me.

It had always been the plan to move on to somewhere else after I was done with my studies.

Despite me not having graduated yet, I will indeed be moving on. There are only so many hours in a day/week/month and there are still so many things that I want to do. On top of that, I think this blog has served its purpose. I want to retire it in style, instead of letting it fizzle out.

Fear not, I’m not going to erase anything, this blog will be here for as long as wordpress.com leaves it up. And yes, I will make sure to back it up of course.

My new place will be LPinprogress, a more static portfolio style site where I’ll collect information about my zines, sketchbook projects and other creative activities past and present.

My Instagram, Tumblr and Pinterest will continue to exist in (more or less) their current form, as will my LogPoes email account, zine mailing list, wemakezines profile and my Etsy shop.

Speaking about zines: I have finished the writing for The Wreckage. File under: things nobody expected to happen, ever. I will be writing The Berk next week. If all goes according to plan, they will both be published sometime in September. Yes, 2016. When they are done, I will resume working on the three sketchbook projects, finish them and send them off to Brooklyn.

Thank you, dear reader, for coming along with me on this bumpy ride. For cheering me on and supporting me when times were rough, for being happy for me when things were awesome, and for respectfully and thoughtfully sharing your thoughts, opinions and feelings with me.

Love,
LP

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Using my brain again

Although I have delayed my thesis – and therefore my graduation – I have started on my absurdly long “Things To Do After My Studies”-list, because life goes on. So asides from continuing Project Decrappify Your Residence in a slow but steady pace, I have also enrolled in the Coursera specialization I’ve had my eye on for about a year now.

The specialization is comprised of 9 sorta kinda stand alone courses, that get tied together in the tenth course, which is the Capstone Project. The specifics of this Capstone Project are still a bit unclear to me, but I assume I will get more information once I get to the project itself.

I quite enjoy doing something “brain related” that is not related to my studies, which says enough about my deep, deep hatred of my studies. I sincerely hope that having some positive learning experiences and being away from my university for a while will “mellow me out” so to speak, so I can return in February and finish things up without bursting an aneurysm due to frustration too much stress.

Speaking of brain issues, I was a bit nervous that I would encounter some cognitive issues while studying, but I didn’t. Although I was aware that with me having zero cognitive problems in daily life, it would be highly unlikely (probably even impossible) for me to all of a sudden have issues with study-related activities, there was still this little voice in the back of my head going “Well, you never know. You might be the first zebra/special snowflake hybrid!” But I’m ok. No issues whatsoever. THANKFULLY.

Another fear was also conquered: my fear of falling while on blood thinners. Last week, I tripped and fell on my face right in the middle of the street. I did have a bit of swelling and bruising, but my fear of “I will fall and blood will just burst out of me, like, from EVERYWHERE!!!” did not materialise. This was such a relief that I didn’t even really mind that I lost my wig in the process and had to put it back on again on the tram with people staring.

Next week, TBK and I are going on a three day trip to the North, visiting Groningen amongst others. And seeing that it’s been 4 months post-hospital and I still haven’t driven a car yet, I will be doing some driving too.

Around here

With the amount of doctor’s visits finally winding down for real (my previous claims of “From next week on, I won’t be seeing doctors 3 to 4 times a week!” was clearly a case of wishful thinking), I am finally getting around to catching up on things around the house.

First, there was a huge pile of zines that needed to be sorted out. I soon found out that I still had unopened envelopes containing zines that were sent to me in… August 2014. Yeah, that’s embarrassing. There were also a huge amount of zines that I had enjoyed reading, but that were now hidden in boxes, not being read by anyone. I felt they needed an adventure, so I send them on their way to Australia! I mean, Nyx’s website tagline is “I love the zines, and the zines love me.”, so I figured that would be a good match.

Then, with the zine situation sorta kinda sorted into a “keep” and a “read” box, I went throught all the magazines still lying around. Turns out I was more up to date than I thought, with only a couple of issues from the beginning of March still unread. Having read most of them since, I am almost completely up to date with regards to my magazines. Score!

After all that, I had to get through all my papers lying around, and make sure all Official Forms were filled in and filed correctly, which they now are. Seeing that I was energised and enthusiastic, me and The Big Kahuna went through all my clothes and shoes, and donated all the no (longer) worn items to the second hand store. I even had two bags that have needed repairing for about 8 million years to the taylor/bag repair person AND remembered to pick them up, so I am very proud of myself.

Amidst of all this, I also had to clean out my university email account, as it will cease to exist soon: having decided (or, realised actually) that I will need more time to recuperate, I am taking a break from finishing my BA until February 2017. I have also deferred my MA offer until September 2017. It took me some time to get to this point, to actually accept that this was not an issue I could just ignore and “Keep going, hardcore-style”, that I REALLY need to start taking better care of myself.

In the coming weeks I’ll continue to clean up my house, and get rid of rehome the things that no longer fit in my life. I will also continue work on the sketchbooks and the zines that need finishing. And watch a ridiculous amount of Casey Neistat videos, that too.

So now what?

When I was admitted to hospital, I figured this was it: I had a hard time speaking, could only see half of what I was supposed to see and was told that what I had thought was a two day migraine, had actually been a stroke – in short: I was f*cked.

“Once your blood pressure and other physical ailments are in check, you will have to go to a rehab facility to learn how to live with this” was what they told me. The only thing I could think at that time, was “well, nobody will ever be able to tell me I am a lazy person who pretends to be sick and who should just suck it up anymore – I had a stroke, I no longer have to prove myself now!” Yup, this is kinda sad. Which in turn is an understatement.

Of course, I was beyond relieved when after a few days I quite magically regained my speech, sight, and also my senses. But I was still convinced that I wasn’t going to finish my BA or do Anything Ever In Life Again. I figured that, while doctors might be convinced that my cognitive abilities were not affected in the long term, the fact that I didn’t understand evidentiality was a sign that my ~academic career~ was over. Until I realised that the week before I went to the hospital, I also didn’t really understand evidentiality – because I just don’t understand evidentiality, really. 😀

Then I thought about how much life I had wasted already trying to get this BA, and how awful I would feel if I spent another 3 months on it, and then died within the year. Yes, I am quite dramatic. Apart from the fact that – if things continue the way they are going and nothing freaky/accidental happens of course – this “me dying within the year”-thing is not very likely, I then also envisioned a worse situation: what my life would be like if I keep living for another 5, 10, 15, etcetera years, but DON’T finish my degree, and DON’T go to Kingston for my MA. That would actually be worse. And then I had to quit one of my medications due to side effects and started worrying about how I am supposed to study while guineapigging (being a Zebra, it might take a while to find the right combination of medications) because how am I supposed to study while in pain and… aaaaaaaaargh.

So currently I am in (thankfully less) pain, worried about my health and my future, and totally unsure what to do. So I figured I might as well try and rewrite that proposal for the umpteenth time this week. As they say in Dutch: “you never know, a cow might catch a hare” meaning “the unlikely could happen”. It wouldn’t be the first time that it did. *wishes for the unlikely to happen*

 

 

Breaking news: Class passed!

Yes people, the thing we’ve all been waiting for has happened: I passed yesterday’s class, which means that all that is left to graduate is a thesis! *faints*

Of course said thesis will still be a struggle to complete, but at least I won’t have to worry about having to be healthy on a specific day at a specific time, which saves me a lot of stress. *goes back to Konmari style housecleaning*

Excellent news!!!

Earlier today, I wrote my final exam EVAH on 1 1/2 hours of sleep. Those who follow me on The Gram of Insta have already seen the picture of me right after that exam, but for those who didn’t, here it is:

IMG_20160125_104436

Brought to you by Brinkadeth productions.

Anyway, I then went home for a nap, then had an appointment, returned back home and figured I’d check my email before taking a shower and going to bed…

AND THEN I OPENED MY EMAIL AND OMGWTFBBQ!!! I SAW THAT I’D GOTTEN AN CONDITIONAL OFFER FROM THE LONDON UNIVERSITY I HAD APPLIED TO 10 DAYS AGO WHICH MEANS THAT IF I FINISH MY BA I’M GOING TO BE DOING A CREATIVE WRITING MA DEGREE!!!

For the peeps who know figure skating history: I went completely Rudy Galindo at the US nationals in 1996. For those who have no clue, here’s a video of an awesome person who kept going despite adversity and, oh, just watch it:

The wait is now for the result of this morning’s exam, which can basically torpedo everything when it’s not a 5.5 or above. In the meantime, I’m going to start up the Konmari-style cleaning of my house. But first sleep.

2016 – The Pre-Cap

Happy 2016 everybody! I figured that in a world in which the Star Wars franchise gets sequels and prequels, I could have my own pre-cap. So here’s what I’ll be doing in the next few months:

  1. This month, I will be writing the final two exams of my studies, after which I only need to write my thesis to graduate. I have decided that if I for some reason do not pass these two exams, I will be quitting my studies. I have apparently gone through all the Stages of Grief and have reached the “I don’t give a flying f*ck anymore, I just want my life back come February 1”-stage.
  2. Once February happens, independent of potential thesis writing, I will be cleaning out my house Marie Kondo style. I am sick and tired of living in a crypt surrounded by Stuff From The Past/Stuff For A Future That Never Materialised. I am planning to get rid of at least half of the things that are currently in my house. I will of course donate everything useful and recycle everything that is broken.
  3. Despite planning and some progress, I still have about 3 zines and 3 sketchbooks that are Not Finished Yet. I will finish them in the month of March, then go on a Sketchbook/zinewriting hiatus as I re-evalue my ~creative existence~: do I care enough about my ~creative existence~ to be a 40+ year old person who writes and glues stuff together that nobody cares about (see also: the piles of my own zines on my cupboard), or should I maybe do something else with my time, money and energy?
  4. Re-evaluate my life in general, to see if the constant feeling of “I feel stuck!!!” subsides once my studies are over, or if I need to make other adjustments in my life too.
  5. Try not to fall apart completely and turn into a non-functioning mess once Clark (my cat, he has terminal cancer) dies. As you can imagine, this point will be the hardest to manage. I’m not sure I will. Manage, that is.

I have already started studying for my exams, so point 1 is on its way. Next week I will finally post a photo set of an exhibition I went to in November(!), peeps who love graffiti/street art should definitely be stoked! *studies some more*

Uncanny!

OMG! Somebody posted a video of me doing my BA degree on youtube!

But seriously, the parallels between me and Zeus (the dog in the video) are uncanny:

  • physically deemed unsuited by most for the task at hand;
  • cheered on by coach (in my case study advisor) who doesn’t believe this to be true;
  • laughed at by some, cheered on by others;
  • slow, but keeps going;
  • not done when the buzzer rings, but keeps going;
  • makes some mistakes, but corrects them and/or keeps going;
  • basically: keeps going;
  • eventually finishes and gets all the cheers.

And now back to studying for me, as I definitely want to go from “keeps going” to “eventually finishes and gets all the cheers”. Thank you, Mastiff gentledog for inspiring me to keep going! *keeps going*

Not over yet

While I usually am not much of an ~inspiring life quotes~ loving person, I do want to share this article that is keeping me from giving up on everything and walking away in a general direction of Paris*. 2 more weeks until Christmas break.

*Note: my walking in a general direction of Paris is a historic thing, completely unrelated to any horrid events that have happened there recently.

[title goes here]

According to my doctor, all infections have left my body, so that’s a yay! I still do feel run over by a truck, then stampeded by 25 horses, but according to her “That is to be expected”. My doctor is a very straighforward and practical woman. Despite not feeling like my usual self yet, I am very happy not to be spending my days half in a daze, only getting out of the haze it to ingest another pill – 17 times a day. Let’s just hope this vague lingering stomach ache subsides quicky so I can get on with my life in full force.

I did get on with my life in semi-force this week: I had to figure out if and if so, how I would be moving on with my studies. After discussing my situation with my teachers, supervisor and study advisor, I have decided to first focus on finishing up my final class. Thankfully, the resit for the exam of that class I missed due to illness has been postponed to January, so I don’t have to do three exams in one week. I will mostly focus on the general exam and also try and pass the other (literature) exam, but if I don’t pass that, that’s not a huge deal, as there is still a resit I can do in January too.

Work on my thesis has been postponed until January, which means that I won’t be graduating in February unfortunately – I am now aiming for March. While this is frustrating and annoying and it feels like I’m running a marathon that gets extended all the time, this is the only way I still have a decent chance at graduating this academic year, so I’ll have to take it. Slow motion is better than no motion, easy does it, one day at the time, one foot in front of the other, etcetera etcetera.